The state government has informed the Kerala High Court that the samples of fish brought from the neighbouring states and ice used as preservatives had the presence of formalin.
The report was filed in response to a writ petition filed by advocate Basil Attipetty seeking a directive to restaurants and eateries in the state to sell food in terms of the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act and Rules.
The state pointed out that a communication was sent to the food safety commissioners of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa to immediately take necessary steps to prevent such actions. The government said that it had ordered the closure of 18 ice plants across the state for not maintaining necessary standards. The officials of the food commissionerate had intensified inspections across the state. The commissioner of food safety had issued certain guidelines for hotels, bakeries, fast food units, drinking water suppliers and drinking water tanker lorries. Besides, special drive was conducted to ensure quality of drinking water and vegetables sold in the state.
As part of a special drive conducted during Onam season, two tanker lorries suspected to be carrying cheaper oils for adulterating coconut oil was confiscated and the license of the consignee firm was suspended.
The report said that the absence of scientific slaughter houses is a cause of concern, as the state is a major consumer of non-vegetarian foods.